Details of this year’s upcoming Oscars telecast are emerging following a Wednesday meeting between the Academy and representatives for the studios and talent publicists.
On Tuesday, it was announced that several major categories will not be presented on the air during the live telecast. Instead, in an effort to present a more streamlined and television-friendly broadcast, eight honors will be awarded one hour before the on-camera portion, and then later edited into the March 27 ceremony.
The reaction to the Oscars’ new format was met with strong reactions from the industry. Though some crafts guilds were diplomatic, their public statements hinted at bruised feelings. However, multiple sources tell Variety that there are currently discussions among members of the music branch to ask the score nominees to boycott, appealing to the nominees for best original score — Nicholas Britell (“Don’t Look Up”), Germaine Franco (“Encanto”), Jonny Greenwood (“The Power of the Dog”), Alberto Iglesias (“Parallel Mothers”) and Hans Zimmer (“Dune”) — to not attend the ceremony in protest. There are also calls for the directors and other branches to defend the artisans in all of these categories.
The awards that will be handed out earlier in the ceremony are for documentary short, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short, live action short and sound. The trophies will be handed out before the telecast begins, and later edited into the broadcast.
The seating capacity for the Dolby Theatre, the venue where the Academy Awards are held, is 3,300 but in an effort to keep attendees safe, it will be reduced to about 2,500.
The main orchestra level of the Dolby normally seats about 1,460, which includes the Parterre. That area will be reduced to around 600, with the main level holding around 212 attendees. A source close to the production team tells Variety there will also be “decking seats,” similar to last year’s telecast, with tables and chairs to fill in spaces. There are approximately 216 individual nominees for this year’s Oscars, and all nominees, with their guests, presenters and performers, will be seated on the main level. All other attendees will sit in the mezzanine.
As was done last year, there will be staggered arrival times for nominees, to prevent crowds and bottlenecks.
The eight categories are expected to be presented and awarded in about 30 to 40 minutes, beginning one hour before the telecast begins. During that time, major A-list nominees are expected to be outside the Dolby, walking the 900 foot red-carpet, taking photos, and completing interviews with publications and networks.
Sources at the Academy have stated that the acceptance speeches of all eight winners would be aired during the telecast, but it’s still not clear if the speeches themselves will be edited down.
As previously announced, all nominees and attendees must take two PCR tests, with negative results, prior to their arrival during the ceremony.
This year’s telecast will be hosted by Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes, and will be produced by Will Packer.
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